There are several reasons why we might want to reframe ‘weight loss’. It is after all focusing on the very thing we don’t want ‘weight’. How much more compelling it would be if we could focus on what we do want, a slim body, flat tum, size zero or whatever our goal really is. Secondly it is an ‘away from’ goal because again it is what we don’t want. The most important reason we need to reframe it is because it does not conform to any of the rules of SMART goals. It is totally unspecific – how much weight loss is going to mean success? One might go on and on forever. It can be measured but which measure is the most meaningful, body fat ratio, waist or hip measurement, stones or pounds lost? Who is to say what is achievable? What is realistic and in what context and when is it to be achieved by? Is it any wonder then that the weight loss business is so huge? Perhaps if we reframed weight loss, more people would succeed in being the size they want to be?
Bandler and Grinder developed their six step reframe technique from work they did with Milton Erickson and Virginia Satir. Behind the process is the belief that every behaviour is useful in some way, it has a positive intention. Yes, even over eating!
Step 1- Identify the thing you want to change. In this example it is over eating.
Step 2- Establish communication with the part of you that over eats. Is it somewhere in your body or your mind? Is it an inner voice saying ‘go on, you deserve it, you’ve had a bad day’ or a hungry feeling, the look of the dessert, the smell of chocolate?
Step 3- Consider what benefit it has for you. What positive thing is it trying to do for you? Does it want you to feel loved and full, have a nice sweet taste in your mouth, be one of the girls? Does it relieve your anxiety or boredom and make you feel good? Do you get out of doing something you don’t want to do because you are overweight?
Step 4- Be curious. How could you satisfy that positive intention in a different way so you could meet your outcome?
Step 5- Consider the options
Step 6- Fast forward and imagine yourself doing this new behaviour. Check that it will work. If it will then you’re done. If not, go back to Step 4 and come up with other options.
When considering your options it can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions in order to understand the behaviour you’re focusing on.
How else could I view this behaviour?
How might other people view it?
In what context would this behaviour be appropriate?
What’s stopping you from changing your behaviour?
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